Economic update for the week ending December 28, 2019
Stock markets closed the week at record highs for the 34th time this year - Although there was not a lot of new data this week, MasterCard reported that retail sales from November 1 to December 24 were up 3.5% from the same period last year. Stock markets are on track to end the year with their largest percentage gains in a decade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 28,645.26, up 0.7% from 28,455.09 last week. It is up 22.8% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,240.02, up 0.6% from 3,221.22 last week. It is up 28.5% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 9,006.62, up 0.9% from 8,924.97 last week. The NASDAQ is up 35.7% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields slightly lower this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.88%, down from 1.92% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.32%, almost unchanged from 2.34% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates mostly unchanged this week - The December 26, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.74%, unchanged from 3.73% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.19%, unchanged from 3.19% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.45%, up from 3.37% last week.